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SB1070: appeal seeks to reinstate all parts of Arizona law

The toughest provisions of SB1070, the Arizona law about illegal immigration, were blocked Wednesday by a judge. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Thursday she is appealing the decision.

By Staff Writer / July 29, 2010

Gov. Jan Brewer speaks to the media outside the University of Arizona Science and Technology Park in Tucson, Ariz. on Wednesday, following a federal court ruling blocking some of the key provisions of Arizona immigration law SB1070.

Jill Torrance/Arizona Daily Star/AP


Lawyers for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Thursday asked a federal appeals court to reverse a judge’s decision to block key portions of SB 1070, the state’s controversial immigration law.

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The lawyers want a three-judge panel of the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, to take up the case on an expedited basis.

At issue is whether US District Judge Susan Bolton was correct when she ruled that major sections of the Arizona law would have impermissibly interfered with the federal government’s authority to decide how best to enforce immigration laws. A stripped down version of the Arizona law took effect Thursday.

In authorizing the appeal, Governor Brewer said the problems prompting the Arizona law were caused by lax enforcement of immigration statutes by the federal government.

America is not going to sit back and allow the ongoing federal failures to continue,” she said. “We are a nation of laws and we believe they need to be enforced.”

Brewer added, “I will not back down.”

On Wednesday, Judge Bolton issued a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of key parts of the new law, including a provision requiring law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of anyone during a routine stop whenever police had reasonable suspicion that the individual was an illegal immigrant.

Critics of the law, including President Obama, said the provision would likely lead to illegal racial profiling. The Justice Department joined other plaintiffs in a lawsuit and urged Bolton to block implementation of the new law.

But rather than press the racial profiling issue, Justice Department lawyers argued that the Arizona law impermissibly intruded into areas of authority (immigration and border security) reserved to the federal government.

State officials countered that the Arizona law was written to complement federal immigration statutes, not supplant them.

Bolton disagreed, ruling that several provisions in the state measure were preempted by conflicting federal laws and the policies of the Obama administration. The judge issued a temporary injunction, meaning that she would temporarily block implementation of parts of the law pending a full trial.